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Ginseng, also known as Ginnsuu in some regions of Asia (mainly China and Korea), is any one of eleven distinct species of slow-growing perennial plants with fleshy roots, belonging to the Panax genus in the familyAraliaceae. It grows in the Northern Hemisphere in eastern Asia (mostly northern ChinaKorea, and easternSiberia), typically in cooler climates; Panax vietnamensis, discovered in Vietnam, is the southernmost ginseng found. This article focuses on the Series Panax ginsengs, which are the adaptogenic herbs, principally Panax ginseng and P. quinquefolius. Ginseng is characterized by the presence of ginsenosides.

Ginseng named Withania somnifera, also known as Ashwagandha, Indian ginseng, is also referred as Amukkara Kizhangu in Tamilnadu.

Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is not a true ginseng, but a different plant that was renamed as "Siberian ginseng" as a marketing ploy; instead of a fleshy root, it has a woody root, and instead ofginsenosideseleutherosides are the active compound. Eleutherosides are classified as another adaptogen. (see below).

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Quick Tip by . October 27, 2010
posted in The Rice Table
Ginseng is prized mainly for its roots. Famous Ginseng are from the U.S., Korea and China. Ginseng are often used in Chinese & Korean soups. However, many also have them sliced into thin slices & mixed with hot water (like you'd do with tea or coffee) and drink it as a beverage. I began drinking it just two months ago and found it to be a great replacement for coffee. It's much healthier & also an excellent source of energy.
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